After a long wait through unseasonably warm weather, Evergreen Lake finally opened for ice skating at 8 a.m. Friday, December 29, and confirmed that the Evergreen Lake Plunge, a New Year's Day tradition, will take place as planned on January 1. Sunset has rated this as one of the top ten ice-skating rinks in the country; it's certainly one of our top five outdoor rinks in the metro area. Here's that list:
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
16th and Arapahoe streets
Skating at this downtown Denver rink is always free. If you need to rent, it's $8 for adults, $6 for kids twelve and under (but they can get free skates on Sundays). The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays through January 7 and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve; from January 8 through February 14, the rink is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Free learn-to-skate classes are offered at 9 a.m. Saturdays. Check Facebook for updates.
29612 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen
At 8.5 acres, Evergreen Lake hosts the world's largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rink (though the Zamboni hasn't been out yet, since the ice is just twelve inches thick — thick enough for humans — rather than the required sixteen inches for the heavy machine). The fee is $7 for adults, $6 for kids four to seventeen; $5 for seniors sixty-plus; rentals are $7. Through January 7, the rink is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; on New Year's Eve, it's open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on January 1. Weather willing, the rink should remain open until March; operators advise that you call 720-880-1391 before heading out.
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Ice Skating Rink at Denver International Airport
Airport Plaza, 8500 Peña Boulevard
Is your flight delayed? Want to meet a pal with a long layover at Denver International Airport? For the second year, the airport has opened an ice-skating rink at the plaza. Not only is admission free, but so are skate rentals. But move quickly: The rink is only open until January 7, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Find out more at flydenver.org.
The Rink at Belmar
464 South Teller Street, Lakewood
Take a shopping break at Belmar's outdoor rink, which is currently scheduled to stay open through January 28. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through January 7; after that, the rink will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through January 28. Alert: Although the rink is open New Year's Day, it's closed on New Year's Eve. Prices for an hour-long skate (including rental) are $9.50 adult, $7.50 children twelve and under (two and below are free, as are seniors). Skating without rental is $5. For more information, call 303-742-1525.
824 Front Street, Louisville
For a more traditional rink, head to the Steinbaugh Pavilion in downtown Louisville, where WinterSkate is now in its thirteenth season. Admission, which includes free rentals, is $10 for adults, $9 for kids four to twelve, and $4 for kids three and under; bring your own skates and save $5. (There's also plenty of free parking). Weather willing, the rink will be open through February from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 2 to 10 p.m. Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call 303-604-1010 to make sure the rink is open.
Many Colorado mountain resorts have outdoor rinks, too; find that list at colorado.com.